On Saturday, Shavon Johnson, 39, and David Pean, 37, from Somerdale, New Jersey, hosted the Opportunity For Entrepreneurs Market pop-up shop in an event space on Fletcher Street near 27th.
Johnson and Pean are entrepreneurs and business partners, owning and operating J’adore Juice Smoothies and J&Q Productions, a juice and smoothie business and an event production company, respectively. The pair wanted to create a way for small businesses and entrepreneurs to come together and grow their brands during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A lot of people started their business at home, so we wanted to give them an opportunity to show it, get it out to the world,” Johnson said. “We want to bring the community together and show people that we can do things together instead of apart.”
The pop-up shop featured 22 vendors selling products ranging from designer clothing and branded apparel to natural vaginal health items and THC-infused products.
Michele Simmons, 36, a 2007 psychology alumna and owner and creator of Higher Powered Herbal Studio, a mobile shop for THC-infused products in Germantown, said access to products like the ones she sells is important, as they can help with mental and physical wellness.
“A lot of people in my community, especially people of color, mainly don’t have access, or they don’t even know that they can have access to such exclusive products,” Simmons said.
Events like the OFE pop-up shop are vital to small businesses and the city community because they help the businesses network and expand their demographic, Simmons added.
Tamika Caines, 43, owner of Khaytoure Boutique, a fashion shop, from Overbrook, wanted to sell items and support small businesses that opened during the pandemic, like theirs.
“A lot of our dollars go into the big corporations,” Caines said. “So we’re trying to give back to each other and keep dollars in our own communities.”
Lashya Ceaser, 15, a student at John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School and owner of adenymstatement from North Central, sold her custom designer hats, jeans, headbands and purses at the event.
“It’s networking, it brings more customers,” Ceaser said. “It gives you more opportunities to become who you want to be.”